27 April, 2007

There are not fewer than 4 helicopters outside my window at work right now.

So, my aunt Barb---who is probably my most favourite aunt just because she's lead a pretty interesting and free-wheeling sort of life, and hell if I know what she did for a living before reaching retirement age, but she's always been one for wandering around, and I think I get a lot of her personality if personality is anything a person can inherit...Anyway, my aunt Barb. She's apparently got a new boyfriend, but he's also an old boyfriend (they went out together for a while some 27 years ago and just "found" each other again a month or two ago). His name is Ken. Ken and Barbie. My mom thinks that is adorable. Anyway, this Ken guy is a widower (I think his wife died about a year ago?), and his now-dead wife was an avid sewer/quilter. Apparently he is giving my mom and my aunt Trish her huge stash of fabric. My mom said she and Trish have been going through it, setting aside good things they like and setting the rest for garage sale this summer. She said the next time I'm home to bring an extra suitcase or bag to fill up. I am very excited. I asked her to set aside any sort of prints she thinks I might like, especially if there are prints on 2+ yards.

In other occurrences today, the security of the office building I work in has decided that people should no longer be allowed to use the stairwells as "shortcuts" between floors. I never really looked at the stairs as a shortcut, though they are generally faster than waiting for the elevators. I looked at them as a chance to get the blood flowing in my legs as well as a way to get between floors. I don't understand the logic behind having to use the elevator to go up or down one or two floors. This seems very inefficient both time- and energy-wise (like electricity that runs the elevators). And it isn't like there aren't 3 cameras staged at every stair door so they can see who is coming and going all the time. I mean I can understand maybe shutting down the numberpad doors until they can be switched to keycard access since numberpad doors are seemingly easier to hack, but the keycards are in place specifically to restrict access to certain offices, and I'd think that'd be easily applicable to floors. So if you're ever on floor 43 in the 555 California St. building in the middle of the night, starting next week, and see me doing walking lunges down the hallway to the elevator, you'll know why.

26 April, 2007

Things to remember for the weekend:

Cat toothbrush
Sewing Machine
Nippon Dress
Old pot for melting crayons

If things come in the Mail:
Az's Polos
Spray Paint
masking tape
cutting mat
xacto knife
plastic sheeting
poofy dress sewing pattern
sewing bag, extra pushpins

I might bring more fabric things and start in on the quilt if I decide to stay in Davis until Monday for Co/Lab Monday-meeting, but if the orders from Old Navy or J. Crew come tomorrow, I will have plenty to do without that as I can start in on bleaching/spraying shirts on Sunday in Davis and just work on that all day. The only reason I'm bringing the sewing machine is because I can go to JoAnn (or possibly a different non-chain fabric store!) this weekend and get fabric for the flounce as well as netting for the poof dresses and additional fabric for the skirt of said dresses (granted they come in the mail tomorrow). Hopefully there will be ladies such as Lucia and Monica around that I can perchance goad into modeling lady things for me; otherwise I might be able to get Kirsten to do it, but since she works during the day on Monday, I don't know the chances of this. I'll probably try to get out her way on Saturday evening or Sunday at some point to bring her the caramels and just visit and see if she'd be interested in modeling anything for me.

I've also been kicking around ideas for Co/Lab shirts. I know they are probably doing silk screening not this weekend but during drinko (or even possibly monday?), and I'd really like to contribute at least one fleshed idea for that. I can probably work on it tonight at work. We'll see.

Sometimes I hate my phone

So my phone decided once again to not make any sounds today, and since it is my alarm clock, this means I slept until 4 today. Which sucks because that means I didn't have time to clean the kitchen today or work out or scan things in for Co/Lab. All I had time to do was eat breakfast, take a shower, walk the dog and finish sewing what I could on the Nippon Dress (which is coming along very nicely).

I had a visit from our patio-mates down in the other side of the apartment. She is having people from out of town this weekend and wanted me to clean my side of the patio. Which I did. It was just a ball of tin foil, some paper bags and one of Pavel's giant water jug things (why he doesn't get the refillable ones is beyond me; it's cheaper that way and more environmentally sound). This annoyed me greatly for some reason. I think the reason is because on Thursday of last week, someone stole our recycling bin from in front of our apartment. See I always thought recycling day was Tuesday because I'd usually be the one hauling the bin back in after taking the dog out for his afternoon walk, but last week it was raining, and the bin was full of water so I left it outside. Apparently recycling day for our block is Monday; David just didn't feel like bringing the bin in on Monday after he got home from work. When it wasn't raining. When it would make sense to do this.

I'm just generally peeved today at myself and at anything that remotely inconveniences me. I don't want to be at work. And if I do have to be here, I would have liked it if Lynn weren't sick this week so she would be here tonight as she is enjoyable to talk to and then I could also give her the t-shirt back (and get my $10).

I took some pictures of the view out the window in front of me before leaving work this morning; hopefully I'll be of sound enough body to wake up at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon so I can work out and get things scanned and on the internet and also off my phone onto flickr.

edit: oh yeah, I still haven't gotten my pay stub from WL yet for this last pay period; I don't think I got one from the first pay period either for that matter. This is quite an annoyance because I like to see how my time at work directly corrolates to my pay.

24 April, 2007

Today I took a train. It was rider appreciation day.

subIt was rider appreciation day on Amtrak today. This meant they had free meat sandwiches, cookies, water and sodas in the upstairs of the dining car and penny wine tasting in the lower level. They were being sponsored by such as Chronicle Books who were handing out free notepads and bookmarks (no pencils though---I asked since I had left all my writing utensils in Davis and wanted to do today's Sudoku/Crossword in the Aggie).

My finger cut finally stopped hurting today which I take as a sign toward fully healing. See I was a big 'tard yesterday and was cutting figs with a steak knife into a bowl to eat for breakfast, and I drew the knife over one of my fingers and cut it in a pretty bloodful fashion. Being it was a steak knife and not such as a paring knife (which would have been the proper knife to use), it hurt like a SOB. I actually wore a bandage on it for part of the evening because I went to Co/Lab and was afraid if I did actually get to working on anything there that I would jam it chock full of fun art materials and cause an infection (this is something I have done on multiple occasions passed; primarily with photo developing fluids on my frequent knuckle scrapings).

As per usual, the bart trip into the city from Richmond was crappy if not altogether intolerable. I was privy to a myriad of vapid conversations as well as a duo of crazy old guys who were also mentally handicapped having a crippled verbal dual. Most irritating of all was this woman who presumably works in a day care or pre-school talking on and on about "the babies" at her work and some fellow co-worker who apparently threw a couple chairs in a room and almost hit her and "a baby" because this co-worker is obviously inept and undeserving of this position and cannot handle the stress brought on by having 8 two-year-olds constantly tugging on her and demanding things. This woman said on not fewer than 10 occasions that she was going to be calling child services on this fellow co-worker for her behaviour and all this. She went on like this, basically screaming into her phone at the poor person on the other side, for what felt like 20 minutes until the train got to where it starts going underground. Over and over, ad. naseum. On top of this, I came into work to hear one of the guys on the otherside of our office regaling his efforts to hire a new employee (a story he told about 3 people on our side of the office 3 times last week). Please, people, yes, you are important. The things that happen to you are important, but say your piece and move on; no one needs to hear the same shit over and over again. It is irritating as all hell and just makes me think of Stella.

In other happenings for today, since I didn't get back to the city in time to go home before going to work, I stopped at subway to get something for my work dinner. I was going to stop at Walgreens because I really wanted to be able to brush my teeth tonight and do not have my spare toothbrush with me (in another bag), but hey, this is the financial district, everything here closes at 7pm. It is 7:20; you are out of luck, sweetheart! Luckily subway was open---I say luckily considering how lucky it is to eat subway at all---so I was at least able to get dinner. I went in, unsure if they were still open or not (no posted hours?), and there was no one at the counter or anywhere to be seen for that matter. After about 20 seconds, a very disheveled man ambled out and asked what I'd like. I ordered my sandwich (6" veggie on wheat), and he yelled back at someone about why they didn't put the short breads in front on the oven, but he pulled out a full 12" anyway, then asked if I wanted a whole or half sub to which I replied I wanted the 6". He then set about making my sub in a slow, stoner sort of fashion. After confirming that yes I wanted cheese, and no I didn't want it toasted, yes provolone please, another man came in from outside to order a sandwich. The man who was making mine then yelled back that it was some girl's turn, there was a small burst of uproarous laughter at this and a girl ambled out. Her face had a definite peach flush to it, and she went about the other man's sandwich in much the same way the man who was making mine did (even down to "do you want a whole or half" after the man had ordered a 6"). I'm not complaining, the sandwich he made me looks fantastic and has a fabulously ridiculous amount of peppers on it, and my mouth recoils in horror just thinking about them. I just found amusement in how obviously stoned off their gourds these people were. Considering it was almost 7:30 and the financial district, I doubt they were really expecting anymore people in until they closed at 9pm (I'm guessing, might be 8pm, but nothing had been put away yet like soups or anything which they usually start doing about an hour before close).

11 April, 2007

Big Dreams without Direction

So I have a job as many of you (who are you? there are maybe two people who read this blog. anyway...) may know. It is ok. It's a job. It pays reasonably well, and I am making my personal debt my bitch. Aside from that I would really like to do more art things, but I have been experiencing a serious lack of motivation lately. I started some socks, but they've been slow going because I am using (literally) painfully thin needles for them and despite double threading the yarn, an hour's worth of work usually only yields about an inch of sock. And I'm having a hard time working up the desire to walk down (not even to, but toward) Van Ness to buy spray paint (mostly because I know they keep it locked up if they have it at all, and this will involve waiting around and talking to clerks until someone figures out who has the key to open the case).

At very least I am capable of getting off my butt for 45 minutes to an hour every day to do some amount of weight workout in addition to my dog walks and work walk. I was going to run this morning, but the presence of rain quelched that plan. I usually dread the thought of running; once I'm actually doing it, I feel fine, but it is the initial dread of actually doing it: of putting on the running clothes and getting all the crap together to run with the dog (two bags for poops, dealing with him on his leash being crazy), not to mention it almost guarantees that I will get about 5 hours of sleep instead of 7ish, and the cons start to outweigh the high of running I get once I'm actually out pounding pavement. But really it is the most effective aerobic workout, and unless I can find some crazy cache of workout torrents where it is something new to see every day, I won't really do aerobics in the confines of my living room: there simply isn't space for a lot of the big dancy type aerobic moves, and I don't have carpet or an exercise mat to cushion my ever-more-sensitive spine from any sort of floor exercises.

The only advantage to working out in the living room that I can think of is that since I'd be in a constant temperature environment, I would experience the sudden flood of perspiration I get the second I step back into the house from running in the 10 to 20 degrees cooler out of doors. Even if I do a 15 minute cool-down walk post-run, I still get this horrible sweat attack; it is inevitable, and really the last thing I want to do when I am at the end of my run which is at the ass end of my day is jump in the shower because that just makes me feel dizzy---I don't usually sweat a lot while I am running, it is all after I come in from outside, so no, I'm not some gross person who likes to sleep as a big sweaty mess. That's the whole problem, in fact. I don't want to be a big sweaty mess when I sleep. That is another con to running outside. I suppose I could go in the early evening when I walk the dog before work, but that means I'd be rushing to shower before work. I don't know which is worse. Plus this is a popular time for runners in my area whereas at 6:30 in the morning, I pretty much have the streets to myself as far as runners are concerned. There's just a few early morning commuters out and some people walking dogs. I've seen, at most, 3 or 4 other runners. There'd probably be more down by the park, but I know there'd be more down there, so I specifically avoid going there and instead run in the flat areas around Jones down to Mason.

Aside from the fitness thing, I feel like I've kind of stagnated as a person. I might enroll at UCSF or SFState as a non-degree seeking student and take some "personal enrichment" courses in math and philosophy. Maybe I might make some friends who live in the city so I don't spend all my time sitting around doing nothing alone in my apartment all day. At very least I feel like I need some sort of academic project to work on. Some sort of accumulative study or research project or something. I'll take ideas. Nothing is too lofty; I'll consider it all. I just need something to exercise my brain in regard to logic, reasoning and comprehension.

Etsy Site

I recently created an account at Etsy. I plan to be selling some of my existing shirt designs (Colonel Bomb, Firecat, Gingko Tree, Penguin Slide). I am also preparing to do a couple new ones that I will likely use spraypaint with at least one part of them (Revolution in Your Cup logo shirt, I'm for the Sauce) which means making some stencil rigs that involve cardboard frames wide enough to avoid getting excess spray around the design onto the fabric. I might post, for made-to-order (though most things are going to be made-to-order, but I'd like to have one or two of each shirt in Medium and Small on hand), a couple of the dress styles from American Apparel for Colonel Bomb and Gingko Tree.

So far, I've printed Bomb on navy blue, black and hot pink; I think it looks best on Black (which bleaches out to a sort of orange colour). I've printed Gingko on a cranberry red AA shirt, which bleaches out to sort of rosey pink. Penguin slide on cornflower blue, which turns the closest to white with the bleachout of anything and looks generally very clean.

And no one has requested a shirt in the Firecat, but it prints very cleanly on my test fabric. I might print it on my green shirtdress or possibly on my red AA dress or just order something completely different for it. I think it would look good on such as a long orange tank or single-shoulder in brown, maybe up by the shoulder strap and slightly cropped. It might work well as a spray design with some sort of light spray out encircling it in which case, I'd have to make a mask to spray around so I get clean lines around the design with a bleedout. It would work well this way with a sort of dandilion motif that scatters across the shirt.

When I am in Davis for Picnic Day, I'm going to ask Zac to model his shirt for me so I can photograph it for the site. I might bring the Gingko shirt with me and maybe ask Lucia if she could model it for me since she is smaller than I am; or possibly Kirsten if she's got time when she stops by for her caramels (in that case, I might just let her keep it). Likewise, I need David to model the Penguin Slide for me. This is my t-shirt fee---modeling service. I intend to get a shirt that fits me better to print the Firecat on so I can model that myself. I might try to get Tim to do the RevCup or Sauce shirts when I make the prototypes since he's got that awesome mustache now.

I should probably invest in a cheapo printer that works with Mac so I can print shipping labels from home since USPS does home pick-up now so I can not have to go to the damned post office every time I need to ship something (which is a big pain in the ass and is a guarantee of an hour of my day). I emphasise it working with Mac because my most recent tech purchase (a 5MP tiny digital camera) has NO Mac support to speak of for its default state. It does take SDRam cards, which I can buy a 2GB one and a reader and be done with it, but that is more dosh and more crap to plug into my computer and more wires and/or plastic thingies for kitten to want to chew on and for me to lose. I can say I'm surprised it doesn't work since most things "just work" with macOS; even my mom's Sony digital camera that when she got it, the Sony website said in big red letters "WE DO NOT SUPPORT MAC FOR THIS CAMERA", and it worked just fine with it; it just read it as an external hard disk. I think because this camera largely depends upon firmware/software for its diskmode rather than having a solid, dedicated diskmode like my past digital cameras, it doesn't "just work". If I'd known it had no mac support, I wouldn't have bought it, but thems the breaks I guess.

On an unrelated note, I forgot the salad I'd gotten specifically to eat for dinner, so the only food I have at work is a sad little 100 calorie thing of microwave popcorn. I am not in the best mood being my finger hurts from having the scab ripped off; someone dropped the level of my chair to be too low, and I can't get it back up which makes the desk hit my forearms in a painful manner; my stomach hurts; I got spoken to about wearing headphones in the office because I couldn't hear Lynn (as I had them up loud enough to drown out the horrible top 40 station people here insist upon listening to) even though when I started, Carlos said I could wear headphones and listen to music or whatever if I wanted to on overnights. SIGH. Anyway workload has kind of dropped off after 1:30ish; I'm kind of hoping to get sent home early so maybe I can take a nap before running the dog. Oh when I was running last week, I did 2 miles in about 25 minutes. Not bad for not having run for quite some time. Granted it took me about 20 minutes to get ready for the run in the first place so I ended up not getting to bed until almost 9am (ouch!).

10 April, 2007

I am a Superstar

So I started running again last week in an attempt to step up my workout for this month. I also did my Tamilee I want that Body DVD with the butt workout (which HURTS), and I lost a half inch all around in the last week (around arms, bust, waist, thighs [not hips though--those are pretty much down to skin, muscle and bone all the time at a whopping 39 inches]). I got a buttload of new clothes from such as Victorias Secret, J. Crew and Baby Phat. And even though I am bloated (thanks being a lady), everything fits pretty loosely and comfortably which tells me I should start probably buying my clothes in the next size down soon (so 10 for most things and 8 for others).

I got paid on Friday, so I might be ordering the dress form this week. With how I am dropping weight, I am definitely going to go for the size 6 to 12 form rather than the 10 to 16 one as I am fairly close to being a Vogue/McCall 12 (not taking into account the bust measurement, but I can adjust for that easily enough, and I'd have to anyway since I haven't worn a B-cup since I was 16). Speaking of which, I am thinking of buying this coat pattern and doing it in this fabric, which, if you look at it and its description, you will see that it is both a paisley print and cordoroy. Two things I absolutely love. Plus it is dark greens and browns with blue flecks and deep reds: all colours that look good on me.

There is a coat sort of like it at Urban Outfitters. I like the idea of the bright contrast buttons, but I'd like it in a more unique fabric, and I really like the warmth added by having the high-neck mandrin cut in the version A of the pattern, which is the one I'd likely make. Coats are a big undertaking, and this one in particular would require me to pay attention to neck measurements, but the good news is from the final measurements, this coat seems to fit the sizes with an extremely large amount of shift room---more than I usually like in a coat, so I could easily make it as a 12 and have it fit me now as a more fitted coat than a boxy coat. Though I would have to take into account whether or not I want the liner to be insulated or not. Probably not. Insulated coats tend to be too warm for me, but I'd still like a nice satin lining; something that feels good on bare skin since I often wear short sleeves under coats.

So yeah. Dress form. That's my next thing to buy. Then I can put the sewing machine to some use hopefully (I still need to find a place to set up though). I might put this off until I can find cheapish studio space to rent so I can just set up there for working on projects on weekends and stuff.